Western Liberal Democracy Would Be Wrong for China

In an Intelligence Squared debate, two sides faced off over the following statement: Western liberal democracy would be wrong for China. From the introduction: People everywhere are better off living in liberal democracy: that has been the reigning assumption of the western world. But could it be we’ve got it wrong? If you were one of the world’s billions of poor peasants might you not be better off under a system dedicated to political stability and economic growth – one that has lifted 400 million out of poverty – rather than one preoccupied with human rights, the rule of law, and the chance to vote out unpopular rulers? Thanks to the Chinese model of government life expectancy in Shanghai is now higher than in New York. So is China better off without democracy? Or is that just the age-old mantra of the tyrant? The side arguing for the motion included Martin Jacques, author of “When China Rules the World,” and Zhang Weiwei, Senior Fellow at the Chunqiu Institute. Arguing against the motion was Anson Chan, Former Chief Secretary of Hong Kong, and historian and journalist Jonathan Mirsky. Watch the debate here: ...
« Back to Article

2 Responses to Western Liberal Democracy Would Be Wrong for China

  1. Bill Rich says:

    Short sighted people can see only the last 30 years of Chinese history and make the mistake of crediting the dictatorship for supposedly lifting 400 million from poverty. If one looks just a few more decades will realized that this dictatorship plunged 600 millions into poverty, and the 400 million lifted themselves back to where they were 60 years ago after the dictatorship loosen some of the ropes tying their ability to make a living.

  2. Alas, Death. says:

    The introduction is quite absurd. A Chinese peasant is actually quite concerned about the (lack of) laws surrounding property rights. Which, of course, according to Francis Fukuyama, fits directly into the historical narrative of the rule of law in China.